Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat- The UAE authorities have stepped up their campaign against software piracy in an effort to protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and maintain the country’s remarkable success in keeping piracy under check. The Dubai Police recently sent out a strong message to organizations and individuals involved in the trading and use of pirated software by conducting a raid on a computer company in the city, leading to the confiscation of 9 PCs and 15 CDs loaded with illegal software, including “Windows XP, “Office XP” and “Adobe”. Two persons were arrested on charges of violation of IPR laws.
To ensure the success of the campaign against piracy, the UAE authorities are working in coordination with various government departments and private companies, as well as the Arabian Anti-Piracy Association (AAA). These efforts have so far proved highly successful, providing a healthy environment for economic development while reinforcing the credibility of the UAE internationally.
Scott Butler, CEO of AAA, said: “By vigorously enforcing IPR laws, the UAE has achieved creditable success in containing the menace of software piracy. The country records the lowest piracy rate in the region and has today become a model for other countries in the region looking to curb piracy. Moreover, the success of the UAE’s anti-piracy campaign has also had a positive impact on the national economy, as it inspired many international companies to set up their regional headquarters in the country.”
Software piracy is considered the biggest challenge the global IT industry is facing. According to the 2004 Annual Piracy Report announced by Business Software Alliance (BSA), the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world, the total loss suffered by the global retail industry due to software piracy amounted to US$ 32.7 billion, of which the Middle East region accounted for US$ 1.2 billion. The UAE has, however, achieved remarkable success in its fight against piracy, recording the region’s lowest piracy rate of 34 percent, a rate comparable to that of many developed countries.
“Protection of IPR laws is critical to faster economic development of the region. The IT industry is today suffering huge losses yearly owing to violation of IPR laws, forcing companies to reduce investment, especially in software research and development,” said Butler. “Countries committed to protecting IPR laws boost their credibility on the international level, thereby attracting more foreign investment and generating employment.”